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Cogmed and ADHD

How Can Cogmed Help Manage ADHD?

Research suggests that cogmed is effective at reducing ADHD symptoms such as inattention, impulsivity and hyperactivity. Cogmed is an adaptive computer training program that aids in attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) management by improving your working memory. Your working memory is your ability to retain information long enough to complete at task.

For instance, your task is to reorganize your room. Your working memory helps you remember the order in which you wanted to organize your room, which therefore helps you complete the task of reorganizing your room. Your working memory is constantly active. This type of ADHD treatment is typically used in conjunction with ADHD medications. Cogmed does not appear to have any significant side-effects and has shown success when treating people, especially children, with ADHD.

CogMed Training

How does cogmed work? Well the first thing you do is download the cogmed training program onto your home computer. Then you log onto the cogmed training website. The program will provide you with fifteen practice exercises and eight tracked exercises. The exercises are given to you in a video game format complete with animation, vibrant graphics and crystal clear sound. For instance, one exercise may consist of shooting monsters and/or aliens, while another one may consist of memory-related tasks such as matching objects. You then select the correct response with your mouse.

Once you have successfully completed tasks, they become harder. The purpose of the escalating tasks is to improve your ability to concentrate on a task and complete it within a specified timeframe. It is important to hire a cogmed trainer to assist you with this training program. He/she will contact you on a weekly basis to see how far you have progressed, answer any questions and encourage you to continue. Cogmed training is effective not only with children, but also with teens, young adults and the elderly.

Training is challenging, so it should not be used with children under the age of 8. In addition, you should begin your doctor-prescribed ADHD treatment plan before starting cogmed training. Cogmed training is not a substitute for medication or psychotherapy. Although many people, especially children, make incredible progress on ADHD medication, it usually does not address all of their symptoms. A combination of cogmed training and medication can successfully help managed ADHD symptoms.


Strengthening your working memory with the help of cogmed training will help you improve your IQ and your ability to successfully resolve issues as they arise. Most individuals who complete cogmed training, report that they now pay more attention to their surroundings. They also report that they are more cognizant of social gestures. Children with ADHD report that they feel more in control of their emotions and behaviors and parents of children with ADHD report that their children carry an “air of maturity” following the training. The parents also report that they no longer have to stay on their children to take a shower, brush their teeth or keep their room clean.

Approximately 75% of ADHD children show a reduction in inattention, impulsivity and hyperactivity after completing the cogmed training program. Research suggests that ADHD children show significant changes in their brain activity following cogmed med training.

Scientific Evidence

Although some mental health professionals complain that there is not enough scientific evidence to support the success of cogmed training in the treatment and management of ADHD, current studies disagree with those assertions. In fact, a 2005 study found that after 5 weeks of cogmed training, ADHD children’s memory not only improved, their attention, focus and concentration also improved. Other studies have yielded similar results.


Pearson. (2013). Computerized training of working memory in children with ADHD – A randomized, controlled, trial . Retrieved from %E2%80%93-a-randomized-controlled-trial.

Shipstead, Z., Hicks, K. L. & Engle, R. W. (2012). Cogmed working memory training: Does the evidence support the claims? Journal of Applied Research in Memory and Cognition , 1(3), 185-193.

Tuckman, A. (2009). More attention, less deficit: Success strategies for adults with ADHD. Plantation, FL: Specialty Press.

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